Posts tagged ‘life’

February 11, 2011

Birds

by Hannah

Yesterday I walked near the beach with Seth in his stroller, napping. I was there to shoot for my 52 weeks project, and since the weather was perfect I just stayed for a little while. I watched the birds- diving, running, flying, dipping, playing. Birds seem happy to me, joyful and free. I love watching them living their simple lives, defying gravity, displaying their amazing designs. I want that lightness of being in my own life.

{the above image is brand new in my art print shop this morning}

Happy Friday, friends. This weekend I am throwing a little party for Seth, piling our immediate families and a couple close friends into our tiny house. It’s going to be awesome. I woke up with a headache and slightly sore throat this morning, so I’m loading up on vitamin C and eating my veggies today :)

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December 3, 2010

Today…

by Hannah

Enjoying this, along with my nice warm mug of coffee:

Thinking about Christmas, and the gifts I want to make for my loved ones. I’m crocheting again and loving the therapeutic repetition of it.

Writing about simplicity over at The Creative Mama.

Editing recent work, such as this family lifestyle session (and more coming soon!)

Getting ready to shoot a fundraiser for the local Sierra Club tomorrow.

Looking forward to buying and trimming our Christmas tree this weekend.

Getting off my computer and taking this guy out to the park:

{Not the greatest shot technically, but isn’t he just hilarious? This was the first time he said “cheese” and posed for me, and I don’t know where he got it from- goodness knows I never tell anyone to say cheese!}

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July 31, 2010

What I have learned from motherhood.

by Hannah

little boy

Seth helping me in the garden today.
Yes, he really did cover himself in dirt- hair, ears- everything. Yes he had a total blast doing it. Yes he went right into the bathtub afterward. :)


I have been a mom for almost eighteen months now.

Before that, I had so many ideas in my mind about how I would raise my children, and what kind of mother I would be. I had image in my head of what it was to be a parent.
But now that I am one, now that I have been on this motherhood journey for a little while, I understand what people meant when they told me having a baby would change my life. I knew that they were right, but I wasn’t worried at all. I knew that having a baby would be worth anything I might need to give up. I knew that I would love this child with every fiber of my being.
About those two things, I was right.

Here are some things I have learned from motherhood…

The intensity of a mother’s love.

There was nothing that could have prepared me for how much I would love this child. So much that it practically hurts sometimes. That love has exceeded the limits of my patience so often, smoothing things over and making me able to handle the harder times.
It also makes me care more about the future, about the earth and about humanity. I see the world differently, now that I am a mom. When a piece of your heart is going to outlive you on this planet, suddenly the future state of the planet matters so much more.

Live in the moment.

Being a mom has taught me to focus more on the present, to be present more than ever before.
I often feel like I gave birth, blinked, and suddenly he is a year and a half old- walking, talking, and asserting his independence at every turn. One of the universal truths of parenthood seems to be that time flies- that children grow up too fast.
Experiencing the fleeting nature of each stage in Seth’s life has made me slow down and appreciate who he is right now. Savor the present rather than constantly barreling ahead, a slave to my to-do list.
This is such an important lesson for all of life- to live in the present- its something I feel I will always be working on. I am thankful for all that Seth has taught me about not taking time for granted.

Have more grace toward other parents.

This is not an easy job. Every family is unique, with different sources of stress and pain. Raising children in the midst of the rest of life can be so incredibly hard at times. I try not to judge other parents, even when it might appear they are making some negative choices. Instead of thinking negative thoughts toward them, I send them silent love and understanding. We all have our moments, and we are all still learning to be what our kids need- no one has it down perfectly yet.
Along with that, being a mom has giving me a completely new perspective on my own mom, who I am so very thankful for.

Life is a beautiful mess.

When you have toddler, messes are just part of everyday life. My floors are usually dirty (even if I just washed them), food gets smeared everywhere, toys scattered randomly throughout the house. I don’t always feel “put-together” each day when we leave the house, because I often just don’t have the time.
But it’s all ok. Life is being lived in my home. It is filed with laughter and babbling, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
I am not always organized. I forget things- sometimes even important things. My hair is often neglected and most of my clothes either don’t fit or are quite worn-out. I feel lucky each time I get a chance to shave my legs. I don’t sleep enough. I get impatient and frustrated. Once in a while I yell, or cry. I’ve even had bouts of depression (which I’ve written about here before.)

Life as a mom isn’t as glamorous as the picture I had in my head before Seth was born. It isn’t as glamorous as the lives of some other moms I read about.
But in its own way,
it’s better.
I love it. I wouldn’t change it for the world. This is my life.

And motherhood has taught me to embrace it all, including the messy parts.

xoxo,
h

July 10, 2010

{time} for DREAMS

by Hannah

Late last week, I came across the wonderful blog Visionary Mom. It is such an inspiring place and it has already given me much to think about. Lisa is currently teaching an e-course called 8 Weeks to Feeling Like You Have More Time, for moms to need more time in their lives to follow their dreams and do what they are passionate about. It started June 29, but I decided to jump right in anyway, because this is something I think I need right now.

Week one was about getting in touch with your dreams- why you want more time in the first place. I have really been in this place anyway lately- planning, daydreaming, figuring out what my goals are, generally and specifically. I have been looking deep within myself at what I want my life to look like. I have so many dreams related to photography- where I want my business to go, and where I want to go creatively with it. I have dreams for my personal life and my family too, and ideas of how I want our daily lives to be.

Overall though, I wish for peace. I have been allowing the stress of life to overwhelm me, to the point where I am making myself physically sick. So I dream of a release from the bigger tensions that have been hanging over my head, so that I can live my daily life in the moment, worry-free. I long for peace with myself, peace with the past and with the unknown of the future.

Specifically, though, my dreams for my career consist of achieving a comfortable workload- having enough jobs, but not being overwhelmed or taking too much time from my family, and being able to only do jobs I love. Some special portraits and weddings, but I want to shift my focus to publishing work- books and magazines. I want to do food and interior photography, and fashion and product work for indie businesses and designers. Cover art for indie musicians. I want to be requested, if not slightly well-known someday, and I want to travel for my work to exciting places and be part of exciting and meaningful projects. These are the things that get me excited. I would love to open a dedicated studio/office space for my business, too- I have so many ideas for it.
I have had an idea brewing in my heart for a long time, that want to share with you. In 2005 I spent almost a month in Zambia, and in my time there Africa claimed a part of my soul. I feel connected to it. I will never forget the things I saw there, and most of all, the people I met there. I want to do a photography project therewith the end product being a book to be published. I want any proceeds to help people there who need it.

For my family, I dream of travel. I want to teach my son about the world by showing it to him. I want us to explore and experience together. I want to be able to send Seth to any school we feel will be good for him. I have been so frusterated and discourged by what I hear about public schools here and the standardized testing that rules every aspect of the education they provide. I want to be able to send him to a private school when the time comes, and not have to worry about money.

I want to spend time every day being creative. Through photography, art, writing, even cooking. I want to nurture myself more, maybe take a weekly yoga class again, and spend time alone reconnecting to who I am and getting centered so I have more to pour into my family.

I want more people in my life who inspire me and encourage me to grow, and I want to really pour into those relationships on a very regular basis.

I want to provide a rich childhood for my son, filled with experiences and learning that he will remember throughout his life. I want to be patient and loving and present for him, and such a big part of being able to do that, is taking time to follow my own dreams and continuing to be who I am apart from him.

ocean.

April 11, 2010

April Showers and Spring Flowers

by Hannah

Okay well actually there haven’t been too many April showers lately… lots of sunshine actually. Seth and I have spent some time this weekend perusing the Delray Affair, a very large local art and street festival.We’re maximizing our time outdoors (with Seth really loves) no before it gets too unbearable hot to enjoy it this much.

The other day Jackie’s very sweet neighbor brought her these flowers, which she grew in her backyard. Aren’t the just stunning? I think along with my vegetable I’d like to try growing some flowers in our yard as well, probably sunflowers. Now I’m forgetting what these are called… but they are so nice, hmm? Happy Spring!

99{365}

homegrown beauty 2

homegrown beauty 3

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February 5, 2010

Pieces of my mind

by Hannah

Maine
I have been going through my boxes of photos from when I shot only film. I took this one in Maine when I was a teenager. Oh I love it there so much; it’s a truly magical place for me and some of my favorite childhood memories are from my visits there. I am really looking forward to bringing my family there someday (hopefully sooner than later!)
1.
A few days ago I brought my 1960-something Pentax into a local camera repair shop, and the first thing the gentleman who owns the place said to me was “What’s a young girl like you doing with a camera older than you are?” I smiled and told him I love it. And I do. I can’t really explain my sudden fascination with film photography and old cameras- I think the images they create are just beautiful. I love the idea of an actual chemical reaction taking place, rather than only digital data. When I am shooting with film I am more careful, more deliberate, because I don’t want to waste it. I think in the end that mindfulness will produce some great images and will help improve my digital photography too. I also love the waiting, the lack of instant gratification. It is fun to pick up your prints from the lab and see them for the first time. Maybe someday I will even have to opportunity to learn how to develop my own film.

2.
I picked  some little yellow flowers in our back yard yesterday morning. There is a picture of them in the previous post. They were sitting on my desk, and by early evening they’d all completely closed up. Just the tiniest bit of yellow peeking out at the end of each one. I guess they have rebelled against being cut from their roots. I think if I were a flower and someone picked me I’d want to close up too. Flowers, and people, need their roots to grow. To live.

3.
I feel like I am always grasping for more time. I am still working on choosing what to focuss on and leaving what doesn’t matter. It is a continual process.

4.
I am really, really looking forward to our trip up north. We leave in 2 weeks and 4 days! I think we will all benefit from the change of pace and just getting away for several days.

5.
I have been a bit more emotional than usual lately, and I get frustrated and down on myself more easily. I find that expect so much of myself, and when I don’t meet my own expectation I lose motivation and am just generally unhappy. I think there is a lot to be said for treating ourselves with the same kindness and understanding we try to show to others. I need to be more gentle and nurturing with myself, and take the time to just chill out and get enough rest and eat right- basic things, but things that get lost when I’m really busy with everything else. If I am unhealthy and unhappy then my family isn’t getting the best side of me either. I want to do yoga again- it’s been a while, mostly because I can’t go to classes. But I think trying to fit a home practice into my days would make a ton of difference for me. I also need to journal again. I used to write all the time, and I barely ever do anymore. Photography has taken its place to some extent, because it is a way to be creative and express my inner self, but sometimes I just need words. Words are healing and powerful.

6.
My son is turning one next week. One. My word.

7.
I think part of the above-mentioned frustration is also from lack of community. I have a few friends but none that I see all the time, and even fewer who really, really know me. I miss that. It is a basic human need. I think I need to make the effort to form a community in my life again. And that’s where the motivation I talked about comes in. I tell myself all too often that I’m “just too busy”. Some things are just too important to fall into that category though- people and relationships are one of those things.

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend, friends.

{Hannah}

January 28, 2010

beauty in everything.

by Hannah

there is beauty everywhere.

even your front yard. these are from mine.

it is always a matter of allowing yourself to have the eyes to see what it really there.

dream4

dream3

dream2

dream1

right now I am longing for good conversation. unfortunate that Seth can only say “mama”, “baby” and “wow”. yeah the stimulating ideas are pretty limited with just those three.

but I am contented anyway, mostly because we got outside for a while today and I took these pictures and even had the time to do the post-processing and get them online. and there are Indian lentils in the crockpot and I feel like some important things are falling into place, and I am about to drink a very nice cup of hot tea…

tea

January 25, 2010

inspired.

by Hannah

sunrise
the ocean.
a cup of warm tea. laughter. a beautiful song.

this.
and this.

beautiful photographs.
a nice quiet walk.
nature.

light.

flowers. faces. people.
places far, far away.

blank pages.
…………………………….

I get discouraged. I get lonely. Sometimes I feel utterly depressed.
I wonder what happened to some dreams I used to have. I wonder if my newer dreams can ever become my reality.
It is easy to feel defeated or worn down.

But I try to remember what inspires me, what makes me feel alive.
I remind myself how blessed I am. By my wonderful family,
my husband and my perfect baby boy.
By the fact that I am able to follow my dreams,
that I am doing what I love to do.

I am happiest when I am creating. When I am doing something.
Discouragement comes with overuse of the word should.
…I should have done that, I should do this, it should be this way… etc. etc.

Dis{courage}ment– lack of courage to just do. Too much though, not enough action.
For me, sometimes it is because I am afraid I will fail. I lack confidence in myself.
But I am doing away with the lies that hold me back from doing.
It is all or nothing now, so {all} it what it is going to be for me.

I am prioritizing.
Rethinking.
Pruning away dead leaves.

Life is much too precious and short for dead leaves to have anyplace in it, after all.

maybe I can have the {courage} to think again. to live in the moment. to erase should from my vocabulary. to take risks.

go.
…………………………

(Take what you will from this. If it makes no sense at all to you, check back for a more ‘normal’ post soon. I needed to get some jumbled thoughts down and thought maybe someone, somewhere could relate. Love, hannah.)

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January 24, 2010

Cityplace Art Festival

by Hannah

We caught the tail end of this cool art fair earlier today. Many of the booths had signs asking people not to take pictures. I’d never really thought about it before but I can understand them not wanting someone to make a profit off a photograph of their work- that completely makes sense. I was kind of sad though because there were so many cool things and I wish I could share them with you. I did take some of these sculptures, where there were no such signs. I am not planning on selling these photos, and I will even link back to these artists’ websites, just to make sure credit is given where credit is due. Because these are awesome.

artfest1

This is by Bob Wilfong. Actually that link is to a gallery. He doesn’t seem to have his own site. (Please correct me if you find out otherwise.) But his work is stunning and a lot of it is music-oriented. Very beautiful.

I loved the metal sculptures by Dale Rogers– they were so unique.

The Peter Pan one:
artfest2

artfest3
“…Neverland!” I love Peter Pan!

And this abstract tree with a cardinal sitting in it:
artfest4

And this pretty face:
artfest5

And then we saw this:
artfest6

This was not art, and not for sale.
A real live skunk just out for a stroll down the street with his owner. He was actually pretty adorable.
artfest7

She said that after the “spraying” glands are removed they make wonderful pets and are very intelligent. Who knew?
I was almost too shy to stop and ask if I could take a picture, but I am glad I did. I need to step outside my comfort zone more often.

And then a massage therapist as giving little sample chair massages, so we stopped and took part in that. Goodness knows we needed it.
artfest8
I love art festivals :)

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January 23, 2010

That thing called balance…

by Hannah

It has been a hard week around here.

And by hard I mean wanting-to-pull-my-hair-out-using-concealer-to-cover-the-dark-circles-under-my-eyes-I-think-I-may-go-completely-crazy type of hard. Anyone who’s is a parent knows what I am talking about.

I attribute a lot of it to the fact that Seth is in the process of cutting two, three, FOUR teeth right now and has been fussier and clingier than ever and waking about every hour at night. I have also been working hard during just about every free moment I get, and there still aren’t enough of those moments and my to-do list is growing faster than I can check things off of it. I have also allowed myself to worry and get emotional over things that I have no control over.

Yes, that equipoise I seek has certainly eluded me lately. If you look up head case in the dictionary there might be a really unflattering picture of me there.

I know it isn’t really as bad as I think. I know it will get better. But sometimes in the midst of it all I feel like I can’t handle everything. I feel like if giving up were an option I would. But only for a moment. Then Seth says “mama” or grins his awesome goofy grin or just starts clapping for no apparent reason and it makes it not seem that bad at all.

I just hope that eventually I reach a point where I can effortlessly parent my child and run my business without feeling like I am losing my mind.  A point where I can do that and have a clean house too, and even have a little bit of free time to nurture myself again. A point where I am in a place to give advice to other moms, to be helpful to someone instead of just grasping for some order in my own life. Eventually. Like, by the time Seth goes off to college…

Lovingly, exhaustedly yours,

Hannah.

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